Trees and Shrubs forum: Please help my rhododendron :(

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Name: Dawn
Chicago (Zone 5a)
Hibiscus
dmarie17
Aug 25, 2016 3:08 PM CST
We've had this rhododendron for a few years now and it has never really grown up. It flowers a few times in the summer, but continues it looks really sad and pathetic. It's in full sun in the morning and then mostly shade after noon.

I'm (very) new at gardening so am reading up on the plant and am not sure what advice to follow. I know that the soil PH is 6.25, which may be the issue?? I've read mixing vinegar w water will help the soil be more acidic, but I don't want to make things worse.

Any ideas?
Thank You!
Thumb of 2016-08-25/dmarie17/058dd1

Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Aug 25, 2016 4:23 PM CST
Dawn - I wouldn't go the vinegar route - a little too imprecise. I would recommend a couple of things. You can use a fertilizer for acid-loving plants. Espoma makes a good one. I wouldn't fertilize it at this point as any new growth might not have a chance to harden off. We're really only about 2 months away from our first frost. But for sure use some in the spring. One thing that you can do now is pull back the wood mulch and mulch with 1" to 2" of milled sphagnum peat moss. It's the stuff that comes in different sized bales. Don't put the wood mulch back on top of the peat moss. The peat moss will help acidify the soil gently.
Name: Dawn
Chicago (Zone 5a)
Hibiscus
dmarie17
Aug 25, 2016 4:35 PM CST
Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Aug 26, 2016 7:11 AM CST
I tip my hat to you.
Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
Permaculture Sempervivums Hybridizer Xeriscape Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
Bee Lover Daylilies Region: South Carolina Garden Ideas: Level 2 Herbs Region: United States of America
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ediblelandscapingsc
Aug 26, 2016 11:47 PM CST
I agree Espoma's Hollytone is great for acid loving plants and you can get a big bag that will go a long way for around $20
­čî┐A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered­čî┐

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